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Middle School - Five Insights from Experienced Parents and Educators of Adolescents

Updated: Feb 5



In December 2023, Bert Hsu Academy organized a panel of San Francisco-based parents and educators who shared first hand experiences and insights from raising and teaching adolescents. The panel included:


  • Ann Hsu: mother of twins currently in SF public high schools (SFUSD journey: McCoppin ES. Roosevelt MS, Galileo HS & Lowell HS), former SFUSD School Board member

  • Rex Ridgeway: grandparent of current SF public high school student (SFUSD journey: El Dorado ES, MLK MS, Lincoln HS), currently President of Lincoln HS PTSA and Vice President of Lincoln HS School Site Council

  • Quincy Yu: parent of former student in SF private elementary and public middle and high school (SFUSD Aptos MS & Lincoln HS), currently Chair of SFUSD's Independent Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee

  • Matt Allen: currently teaches at Bert Hsu Academy, formerly taught and coached basketball and baseball at SFUSD's Galileo HS

  • Marie-Jose Durquet: currently teaches at Palo Alto's Gunn & PA high schools, formerly taught at Mercy High School and SFUSD's Willie Brown Jr. MS

Some of their top insights into raising resilient, grounded youth and supporting them through the middle school years are below:

  1. School fit is paramount. Know your child/student and the environment that will help them thrive in their current season of life.

  2. Become and stay involved in your students' school, friend circle and social network - know your kids teachers, friends and their friends.

  3. Slow down if something is feeling off with or about your child. Get curious, ask questions, listen. Curate low pressure opportunities for connection such as driving in the car to sports practices.

  4. Teach your adolescent that life is not always fair, but that doesn't mean it will be bad. They may not have power over what happens, but they do have the power (agency) to handle/react to what happens.

  5. Allow them to experience failure and any repercussions within a safe environment.

Want more parent education type events like this one? Contact us and learn more about Bert Hsu Academy.



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